One of the biggest upgrades a car owner can make to their vehicle is adding in a new double din head unit. For those of you who are not familiar with this part, it’s basically the stereo receiver that’s located in the middle of your dash, although these units can do a lot more nowadays than just play music. Some of them are equipped with everything from interactive displays to navigation systems.
Since these units aren’t cheap, it’s important to find not only a quality model but one that has the features that you need. To help you along with your search, we’ve gathered together ten of the best models currently available, along with a handy guide which will give you the tools you need to select a great model.
Best Double Din Head Unit – Reviews
10Corehan 7-Inch Touch Screen Multimedia Player
This double din head unit has a 7-inch display that allows it to be used in a number of different ways. The screen can display GPS maps and routes, steering wheel controls, or it can be hooked up to a rearview camera using its rear camera input. This unit also has a built-in AM/FM radio receiver, and it supports multiple inputs including Bluetooth, a USB flash drive or a micro SD card. It supports Bluetooth phone calling and thanks to its built-in GPS module with an external antenna, this unit can help the driver navigate the roads, even in areas without a mobile traffic signal. And more apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store to expand its capabilities even further.
9Pioneer AVH-210EX In-Dash Digital Media Receiver
Not only is this unit a very fine looking unit, but it is also equipped with a number of handy features. It has a 6.2-inch WVGA touchscreen that has an LED backlight display and is easy to use. This unit also allows for Bluetooth hands-free calling, so the user can keep their hands on their steering wheel and off of their phone. The top portion of this unit features a place to insert discs, and this unit is capable of playing everything from compact discs, CD-R/RW, DVD, DVD-R/RW and a variety of MP3/WMA and AAC playback files. And it has a peak output of 50-watts x 4-channels.
8JVC KWV240BT In-Dash Stereo
This car stereo receiver has a number of exciting features. In fact, it almost has too many features to list, but we will give it a go. It features a CD/DVD receiver, an AM/FM tuner, a 6.2-inch resistive touchscreen display, a 13-band equalizer with digital time alignment, built-in iPhone and iPad control, a Sound Lift feature which compensates the audio output for low door mounted speakers, built-in Bluetooth calling, a front USB input, a rear camera input, 6-channel preamp outputs and a built-in internal amp. It also allows for Spotify, iHeart Radio, and Pandora control via Android or iPhone devices.
7Eonon Car Radio With 7-Inch Screen
This media center not only looks technologically advanced thanks to its 7-inch display, but it’s also packed with some of the most modern technology available. It has a high-end Rockchip processor that reduces the response time of the unit and allows for faster App loading. This allows the driver to play their music and Apps faster than they could with a slower unit. This product also allows for PIP and split-screen capabilities and allows for a Bluetooth connection. Although it doesn’t support CD or DVD use, it does allow music to be played via a USB drive or micro SD card.
6ATOTO A6 Car Navigation Stereo With Bluetooth
This unit provides a wide range of features that car owners are looking for in a good center console. It has a full HD 7-inch display screen, supports the latest Bluetooth standards, and has a built-in GPS module. It also has steering wheel control, an AM/FM radio tuner, and it also has a back camera or dash camera input. Although it doesn’t support playing DVD or CDs, it does allow for music to be played off of a micro SD card. Other features that can be found on this unit include a pre-amplifier, a preset 9-band equalizer, and 3 USB interfaces.
5Pioneer AVH-X490BS In-Dash Receiver
With a 7-inch LED-backlit display and the ability to customize the display colors to one of 112-key colors, this double din head unit is an attractive device for any suitable vehicle. It’s not only eye-candy, however, it’s also equipped with a number of key features that will benefit the vehicle owner’s lifestyle greatly. It has a peak power output of 50-watts x 4-channels, is capable of playing CDs, it displays CD-text information including artist/title/album, and it has a built-in amplifier. This unit also allows for dual phone connections and has a detachable face. Overall, it’s a quality unit that has a number of exciting features.
4Pioneer MVH-S600BS Digital Media Receiver
Although this unit doesn’t have a display LCD screen and doesn’t play CDs, it does have a number of other features which makes it a worthwhile addition to any suitable vehicle. First of all, it’s quite inexpensive and is half the cost of comparable models. Two, it has a built-in AM/FM receiver and is capable of playing a number of other audio formats including MP3, AAC, FLAC, WMA and WACV files. It’s also capable of playing Pandora or Spotify or being used with Bluetooth. It also has a nice equalizer display that gives pertinent information to the driver such as an input being played and the time. All of which makes it a basic and inexpensive car stereo.
3Pioneer AVH-X2800BS In-Dash DVD Car Receiver
This in-dash DVD car receiver has a 6.2-inch display, is capable of playing both CDs and DVDs, has a 14-watt internal amp and has built-in Bluetooth for audio streaming and/or hands-free calling. This unit will also support two phones at once and will work with Sirius XM radio. Content can be controlled on it via the Spotify App as well through a compatible Android or iPhone device. Additional features that can be found on this double din car stereo includes a remote control, FLAC audio playback and in-dash control for Pandora. Now all of your music and entertainment can travel in the vehicle with you.
2Pioneer FH-X520UI In-Dash Car Stereo
A beautiful design, a host of interesting features and a low-cost are the things that make this stereo worth talking about. Although it doesn’t have a large LED display, it does have a segmented LCD display with LED backlight that gives the user instant access to equalizer information. This display can be customized to one of the thousands of different color combinations, so the vehicle owner can customize to match it to their interior lighting. This unit also has Bluetooth connectivity, features great sound output, and even comes with remote control. These features, along with its low price tag, make this a good budget model for any compatible vehicle.
1Pioneer AVH-4201NEX Multimedia Car Stereo
There’s no reason to settle for a double din head unit that only provides some of the features you need when you can purchase the Pioneer AVH-4201NEX—a model that has a wide variety of important features. This unit has a 7-inch WVGA clear resistive touchscreen display that’s easy to operate and it has a peak power output of 50-watts x 4 channels. It has a built-in AM/FM tuner, built-in HD radio and is SiriusXM radio ready. It is also capable of being used with an existing backup camera, so the user can easily see what’s behind them. It’s a great unit that looks good and has a number of great features.
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How To Buy The Right Double Din Head Unit
Car stereo systems come in a variety of formats including single din, din and a half, and double din unit—according to the form factor of the dashboard they’re installed in, so before even deciding on a double din unit, it’s important to make sure that one will fit in your vehicle. Once that’s been established, you can then begin to look at some of your options. Let’s dig into those options right now, shall we?
Step One: Make Sure It Will Fit
The first thing that you need to consider is whether your vehicle will accept a double din head unit. To find that out you can check the size of your car stereo. Single din head units are approximately 1-inch tall, while double din units are 2-inches tall. If you have a single din unit, then most likely you’ll have to replace it with a single din unit. Sure, there are some cases where a single din unit was installed into a space meant for use by a double din by using an adapter. However, that’s only a small portion of the cases, so if your unit is a single, then you’ll probably have to install a single unit into it.
On the other hand, if you have a double din head unit, then you have a little bit of flexibility. You can either replace it with another double din unit or you can install a single din model using an adapter bracket. If you do that, then you can add a graphic equalizer to the mix. However, it should be noted that there are plenty of double din head units that actually have a graphic equalizer or other features built into them.
Step Two: Look For Models With A Removable Faceplate
The next thing you’ll want to consider after you’ve made sure whether your vehicle will accept a double din head unit, is to check whether or not the unit has a removable faceplate. A removable plate deters theft of the unit and is a handy feature to have. Of course, some models, such as most models with displays won’t have a faceplate that can be removed.
Step Three: Do You Need A Display Screen
Some double din units come with an equalizer display, and some come with touchscreen displays. The one you need will depend on the purpose of the head unit in your car. If you only plan on listening to music, then an equalizer display will likely be a suitable choice. However, if you want to use the unit for navigation, receiving weather reports, or for use with a backup camera, then you are going to want to get a model with a touchscreen display. Be sure to keep in mind that if you do decide on a touchscreen, then it’s going to add significantly to the final cost of the unit.
Step Four: Determine How Music Should Be Played
In the past, car stereos were simpler devices. They played AM/FM radio and maybe could play some form of portable media such as an 8-track, a cassette or a CD. Things are a little bit more complicated nowadays, however. That’s because there are models that can still play CDs, but there are also models that are only digital media receivers, so it pays to do your homework when choosing a model.
If you have a CD collection and want to play them in your vehicle, then you are obviously going to need a unit with a CD player. If you plan on using digital media, however, then you have to determine how that music is going to be played. If you intend on streaming it via Bluetooth, then the unit is going to have to have Bluetooth capabilities. If you want to play over-the-air AM/FM broadcasts, then the unit is going to have to have a radio receiver. And if you need to play music some other way, such as hooking your phone up to the unit via an AUX cable, then you are going to need to look for inputs that make that easy.
Step Five: Choose Additional Features
The last thing that you’ll want to consider is whether the unit you are considering buying has the features that you need it to have built into it. Below are some additional features you may want to consider:
- Color & Lighting Options
- DVD And/Or Streaming Playback
- GPS Controls
- Pandora Or Sirius XM Radio Enabled
- Steering Wheel Controls
- Remote Controls